The Gambia

The smiling coast of Africa, where the beaches are never overcrowded and a warm welcome awaits.

Travel tips, features and guides from travel writer and photographer, Kathryn Burrington.

Top 12 things to do in The Gambia on a budget

This wonderful West African country is a fascinating place to explore with golden sandy beaches, year-round hot weather, a colourful culture and friendly English speaking locals. I’ve been visiting regularly for over ten years and I’ve found there is no end of interesting things to do in The Gambia, even if you have a tight budget.

Mandina Lodges, the perfect start to our West African honeymoon

Join us as we discover barefoot luxury in a floating river lodge on a tributary of the River Gambia, the perfect start to a multicentre honeymoon in West Africa.

Spicy chicken ‘pepe’ soup recipe from West Africa

This traditional spicy chicken soup from The Gambia, is known as a cure-all and, amongst other things, is said to cure the common cold. The Gambians like their food spicy so be warned, pepe soup packs quite a punch!

Get off the beaten path and unwind in The Gambia

As a gentle sea breeze brushes my face, I arch my back in the cat pose. Moving from one yoga hold to another, I unwind and the stresses of life slip away.

Saving the marine turtles of West Africa | Interview with a poacher

Speaking to Landing, a former turtle poacher, I began to understand why people hunted the turtles, despite their dwindling numbers and it being illegal.

  • Where is The Gambia? In West Africa, with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s surrounded by the much larger country of Senegal on three sides. 
  • What language do they speak in The Gambia? There are several local languages but the official language is English.
  • What’s the weather like in The Gambia? Average temperature highs range between 29°C and 34°C with long hours of sunshine year-round. In the summer months, it is very humid with short but heavy rain showers. In the winter, there is low humidity and little rain, the perfect location for a winter sun holiday.
  • What’s the food like in The Gambia? The resort areas have a fabulous range of restaurants serving cuisines from around the world. Look out for local dishes too which are usually quite spicy and served with rice.
  • What’s the currency in The Gambia? The Dalasi (GMD).
  • Where to stay in The GambiaRead about the different resort areas and the best hotels and B&Bs in The Gambia, here.

Exploring Albert Market in Banjul

Whatever country you are in, I think most people would agree, that the local markets are great places to explore and photograph. When I arrived at Banjul's Royal Albert Market our taxi driver found a local guide to take us round. There's huge variety of goods for sale...

A feast for the senses at Tanji fish market

All the colours of the rainbow flash before my eyes. The sound of the waves, squawking seagulls and housewives' banter assault my ears. The smell of fish fills my nostrils and the taste of salt is on my tongue, as I head for sensory overload at Tanji fish market in...

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” Chinese proverb After visiting  the girl I sponsor in The Gambia, we set off to visit Lamin's family who live just up the road, in a village on the outskirts of the...

Visiting my sponsored child in The Gambia

In 2005 I started sponsoring a little girl in The Gambia. She was just 6 years old. A few months later I visited The Gambia for the first time and, of course, I arranged to visit her, her school and her family. Nearly 8 years later I am still sponsoring her and...

Light up a village – Solar power spreads across West Africa

I recently shared with you the wonderful welcome we received in the village of Kanuma in my post On the Trail of the mythical Kumpo of Kanuma. This was a great experience for all of us, a real treat, but the main reason we visited this remote West African village...

On the trail of the mythical Kumpo of Kanuma

When I heard (on Twitter) that a kumpo, a mystical character of the West African Jola tribe, had been spotted near the village of Kanuma, just a few hours drive from where we were staying in The Gambia, there was only one thing for it; I was determined to arrange an...

Always a warm welcome in The Gambia

In the very early hours last Friday morning my alarm went off. Finally the day had arrived and it was time to start the journey that I had been looking forward to for months. Seven of us were heading off to The Gambia for a few full-on days of exploration, adventure...

Travel bloggers in The Gambia

In less than two weeks I'll be returning to The Gambia in West Africa. I'm very excited about this particular visit as this time, I'm taking 6 fantastic travel bloggers with me for the very first bloggers press trip to this wonderful country. As well as writing...

Gunpowder Green Tea in The Gambia

If you have ever been to The Gambia, or indeed any of the surrounding West African countries, you will no doubt have seen the local men gathered together around a small teapot. This well-loved past time involves a lot of chattering while drinking scolding hot and...

Go wild in West Africa

The Gambia is a great place to visit, especially to escape Europe's winter, if you are after sunshine and beautiful, uncrowded beaches. However, as those of you who have followed me for a while will know from my previous posts, this wonderful, West African country has...


This week's travel snap is also my entry for Round 46 of Travel Photo Roulette with the theme of 'Smile'. If you'd like to enter you'll find all the details and all the entries on the website 2Away who are the hosts for this round. I took this photo while visiting a...

A crocodile, a tree house and a cool Julbrew!

Sip a cool Julbrew, the locally brewed beer, while looking out for the crocodile that lurks in the freshwater creek a few feet away. Perhaps eat lunch in the tree house while watching exotic birds flitting between the branches. A gentle breeze from the nearby ocean...

Smiles at Sanyang Fishing Village

The Gambia is justifiable known as ‘The smiling coast of Africa’ as everywhere you go you will find a smile to greet you. These two ladies, cleaning fish at Sanyang at the leisurely pace that is typical of this little West African country, were only too pleased to...

Daughter of the Jola Tribe

Back in 2007 I spent a wonderful day at a Jola's initiation festival in The Gambia, West Africa. While taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the festivities, sitting on a rug under the shade of a tree with friends, one of the girls asked if she could plait my...

A black cat and a blue flip-flop

Last December when I visited the small West African country, The Gambia, I enjoyed a wonderful morning learning how to cook a traditional Gambian meal with the charismatic Ida in her family home. By lunchtime the smells from the cooking pot were driving us all to...

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